Fenton boy battles genetic disease: 'You get what you get and you don't throw a fit'

Like most 12-year-old boys, Max Dunn loves playing video games. It's his time to set his worries aside and just be a kid. Because, Max doesn't always get to be a kid. He was born with Cystic Fibrosis.

On Saturday Night, dozens of local kids who've learned to overcome the physical challenges they were born with, will be honored at a red carpet event.

It’s called the STL Night of Superstars, and 12-year-old Maxwell Dunn of Fenton is one of the kids who will be celebrated.

Like most 12-year-old boys, Max Dunn loves playing video games. It’s his time to set his worries aside and just be a kid. Because, Max doesn't always get to be a kid. He was born with Cystic Fibrosis.

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He put his vest on and hooked up to a machine, "Then I’ll sit down, usually get on my phone or something."

Twice a day, for 30 minutes, he sits in this chair hooked up to a machine. That machine vibrates his chest to loosen the mucus that fills his lungs.

Max said, "It vibrates and then after 10 minutes it goes to a new level and then it goes to another level."

His mom Denise explained, "He's got all this mucus that you and I could cough it up. But little viruses that you and I could get rid of like that, stay and he gets really sick."

Denise keeps a basket of medicine on the kitchen table and her cabinets are fully stocked. It’s a routine she's grown accustomed to. But it’s not just for Max, her oldest son Jonathon has medication as well.

Jonathon’s chair and equipment are right next to his brother Max’s in the basement. They were diagnosed with CF at the same time. Jonathon was 2 and max was a newborn.

The diagnosis was really hard on Denise.

"So that’s sort of why it was a slap in the face. Yeah it was something else," she said about the boys both having Cystic Fibrosis.

Max just got over a two-week sickness that pulled him out of school at Ridgewood Middle.

"I was sick with something," he said.

For a boy as active as he is, "I like soccer and cross country and track."

You'd never know what he goes through on a daily basis.

"Maybe someone says something like oh you have that, Oh I couldn't tell," he explained.

Max is tough as nails and he surprises himself sometimes.

“I didn’t know I could push myself that far. Like run that much, because some days we'd be running the entire time. Like two miles at practice, those are tough. I was surprised I could run that much."

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There are tough days, when his condition brings him down.

"Sometimes it does, and if it does, I think to myself next time let’s make sure it doesn't," he said.

It’s a pretty remarkable attitude for a boy his age quietly fighting a daily battle.

But he's not fighting alone. He's got his big brother by his side and a proud mom and dad.

Denise smiled, "I think we're pretty tight, don’t you? He calls me the smother and the other one calls me the smother."

Parents, who very cautiously, allow them to just be boys as much as possible.

Max has a motto he lives by, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

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